Joe Biden Administration To Restrict Travel From India Because Of High Covid-19 Caseloads

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Ted Johnson
·2 min read
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The U.S. will begin restricting travel from India out of concerns over an uptick in Covid-19 caseloads and variants there.

“On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India.”

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The policy will take effect on Tuesday, the White House said. There are reports that the policy will not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

On Thursday, Psaki said that the U.S. is looking to provide oxygen supplies, including additional ventilators, as well as personal protective equipment and treatment courses of the antiviral drug remdesivir . The White House also announced that it would re-direct its own order of Astra Zeneca manufacturing supplies to India, which will allow the country to make 20 million doses of the vaccine.

The surge in cases has strained India’s health care system, while its vaccine rollout has been slow. The company imposed lockdowns last year to “flatten the curve,” but eased restrictions in January as caseloads had dropped.

India reported 385,555 new cases as of Thursday, a record high, and 3,468 new deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Just 1.86% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Biden spoke to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, and the White House said that the “two leaders resolved that the United States and India will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the effort to protect our citizens and the health of our communities.”

Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on Friday, per a pool report, “There is no question that it is a great tragedy, in terms of the loss of life, and as I have said before, and I will say again, we as a country have made a commitment to the people of India to support them. And we’ve made already a commitment in terms of a dollar amount that will go to PPE and a number of other things. But it is tragic. And, you know, my prayers go to the people on the suffering, the blatant suffering that is happening.”

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